Govern­ment ‘dis­ap­pointed’ with court de­ci­sion, will en­sure it is im­ple­mented

Malta Independent - - NEWS - ■ He­lena Grech

The govern­ment ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment yes­ter­day with the court de­ci­sion grant­ing two ex­tra seats to the Na­tion­al­ist Party, but it will see that the court rul­ing will be im­ple­mented in the short­est time pos­si­ble.

It was iron­i­cally the Jus­tice Min­is­ter, Owen Bon­nici, who was tasked by the govern­ment to give a first of­fi­cial re­ac­tion fol­low­ing the Con­sti­tu­tional Court’s de­ci­sion yes­ter­day, with the press con­fer­ence held at the Jus­tice Min­istry. He was ac­com­pa­nied by Tourism Min­is­ter Ed­ward Zam­mit Lewis.

Dr Bon­nici said the govern­ment pre­sented sound le­gal ar­gu­ments against the Na­tion­al­ist Party’s case, but the govern­ment must now re­spect the de­ci­sion taken by the courts.

“We will see that what the courts de­cided to­day will be im­ple­mented shortly”, he said.

“The court rul­ing, how­ever, does not di­min­ish Labour’s vic­tory in the past elec­tion, and we will con­tinue to work to carry out the govern­ment’s pro­gramme with which the Labour Party won with 36,000 votes”, he said.

Dr Zam­mit Lewis said the govern­ment will con­tinue to work harder than ever to see that the pro­pos­als it made be­fore the elec­tion are im­ple­mented.

Dr Zam­mit Lewis said he can­not un­der­stand how a 13,000 ma­jor­ity leads to a five-seat ma­jor­ity in Par­lia­ment, while a 36,000 vote ma­jor­ity - which is nearly three times as large - amounts to a par­lia­men­tary ma­jor­ity of just seven seats.

He said the PN made a big deal about the govern­ment's ap­peal to the orig­i­nal judg­ment, say­ing that it was just a way to pro­cras­ti­nate the is­sue. But yes­ter­day's rul­ing con­firmed that Labour was cor­rect in tak­ing up the le­gal mat­ter fur­ther, as to­day's judg­ment changed im­por­tant parts of the orig­i­nal sen­tence given.

The govern­ment, he said, is to­day stronger than it was be­fore. The govern­ment is not fo­cused on its par­lia­men­tary ma­jor­ity or court judg­ments, but on how to make things bet­ter for the peo­ple.

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